Biodiversity Center Volunteers

janiechen

Janie Chen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

2013 – 2014: BioSCAN student

2013 – present: BioSCAN volunteer

2013 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Janie is a freshman majoring in Health Promotion Disease Prevention. In her free time, she enjoys reading. Though it’s too hard for her to pick an absolute favorite, her favorite book of the moment is A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Her dream is to become a coral reef gardener in Australia. Blind Pilot, Passion Pit, and TOKiMONSTA are tied for first place in her iTunes most played. If she could choose a superpower, she would choose to have the ability to speak every language in the world.

jennifercamello

Jennifer Camello

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Major: Anthropology

2013 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2013 – present: BioSCAN volunteer

Jennifer is a junior majoring in Anthropology and hopes to one day become a pediatrician. She used to want to become a museum curator because she loves Ancient Greek artifacts and history, so maybe this position will sway her back to the museum life. She is fond of baking, global health, dark chocolate, tea, and traveling.

lindsayhafen

Lindsay Hafen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Major: Biological Sciences

2013 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2013 – present: BioSCAN volunteer

2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

2014 – present: BioSCAN research student

Lindsay is studying biological sciences at the University of Southern California. She enjoys traveling, reading, painting and, of course, biology! She isn’t sure what her future career will be, but she has been inspired by the Natural History Museum and thinks it will have something to do with biology. Her favorite insect currently are European honey bees.

christinali

Christina Li

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

2012 – present: BioSCAN volunteer

2012 – 2014: BioSCAN student

2013: BioSCAN research student

2012 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Christina is a Biological Sciences major. She likes to watch dramas & movies in general in her spare time. Occasionally, she also likes to play the piano. She loves to be around animals, especially furry ones. She is volunteering at the Natural History Museum because it is a fun place to gain more experience in a field she had not previously considered.

nicolechang

Nicole Chang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

2010: Marine Biodiversity Center student

2011 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Nicole is a freshman majoring in Biological Sciences. She loves international travel, shopping, cupcakes, chocolate, and dogs. She is very excited to work at the Natural History Museum.

jimcline

Jim Cline

2006 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2003 – 2006: NSF Isopods volunteer

Jim's urge to be a wide-view visionary has resulted in three technical papers, numerous electronic documents, and two websites. He foresees a time when DNA from creatures living today may be used to create thriving ecosystems in huge space colonies orbiting the Earth, connected by space elevator technologies — perhaps only a few decades from now. Jim has not only volunteered for Invertebrate Paleontology making thin sections of fossil corals and for the MBC until 2004 helping with curation, but he has also been instrumental in databasing and preparing the online Isopod Image Database, work that is ongoing: Check it out.


markleblanc

Mark LeBlanc

California State University, Long Beach (M.S. 2014)

2013 – 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Mark is a grad student in biology at CSULA, and he currently plans to present his thesis on the taxonomy of a new species of Caribbean ostracod in summer 2012. Outside of ostracods, Mark’s other hobbies include medieval fantasy novels, dark synth-pop albums and aspirations of travel. After graduating he hopes to pursue a career studying the evolutionary relationships among crustacean taxa.

tochukwumadu

Tochukwu Madu

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Major: Psychology and Biology

2013 – 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2013 – 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California Tochi is a senior Psychology and Biology double major at USC from Cerritos, California. He is pre-med with hopes of becoming an endocrinologist. He is also currently working in the Mind in Development at USC due to his interest in early childhood development and social cognition. When he was a child he used to collect ladybugs and perform operations on fig beetles that got trapped in his pool. In his free time he enjoys playing basketball and watching National Geographic documentaries.

estellahernandez

Estella Hernandez

Whittier College, Whittier, CA

2002 – 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Estella enjoys camping and hiking. Her interest in the outdoors led her to the Natural History Museum. Estella has learned basic invertebrate taxonomy and identifies Puget Sound specimens under a dissecting microscope sorting them to phylum or class. She also assisted with the curation of the Fiji Collection — organizing specimens by lot number, printing and associating labels with specimens. And she loves bears!

brianloyd

Brian Loyd

University of California, Los Angeles, California

Major: Anthropology and History

2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2013: BioSCAN volunteer

Brian is a graduate of UCLA, with a bachelors in Anthropology and History. Having been both an employee and volunteer in the Education and Exhibits Department at NHM, Brian is seeking to broaden his horizons by working behind the scenes with the BioSCAN Project. Brian’s passions include Indian Pale Ales and 16-bit video games.

brianshaw

Brian Shaw

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2012: BioSCAN volunteer

2012 – 2014: BioSCAN student

2014: BioSCAN intern

Brian Shaw is a sophomore studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Ever since he could remember, he has had an affinity for all sciences including biology. In his spare time, he likes to listen to music — classical, rock, and electronica — on top of hanging out with friends. Other hobbies include reading comics, playing the piano, and surfing the web.

sanaahmed

Sana Ahmed

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

2011 – 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Sana graduated from USC with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies. She enjoys running, photography and reading. In addition to volunteering at the MBC, she works as an Emergency Medicine Scribe. She finds the MBC to be a nice change of pace from the ER.

heidicho

Heidi Cho

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Heidi is a Biological Sciences major. She loves traveling with her family and dog, Disney movies, singing, playing piano, and museums. She enjoys walking around the empty exhibits of NHM before opening hours. At the Marine Biodiversity Center, she loves looking at a variety of organisms in the collections room and helping sort specimen. She's not sure what her future career will be, but hopes it will be fun and inspiring!

kaseyhanson

Kasey Hanson

Alfred University, New York

2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Kasey is a sophomore studying ceramic engineering. He enjoys surveying a wide range of scientific disciplines. In addition to volunteering for the MBC and Crustacea, Kasey works at his summer internship at the City of Hope. Kasey intends on pursuing a career in the sciences and traveling abroad as much as possible.

shanilguanasekara

Shanil Guanasekara

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Shanil is a senior studying Biomedical Engineering. He enjoys reading, cinema, independent music and soccer. He hopes to pursue a career in research, both in the USA and back home in Sri Lanka.

vijishook

Viji Shook

George Washington University, International Affairs, M.A.
University of Southern California, Economics and International Relations, B.A.

2010 – 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Viji is taking a brief detour from the hectic road of life to explore careers in the natural sciences. She is currently volunteering at the Dino Lab in addition to the Marine Biodiversity Center, and has volunteered in the Insect Zoo as well. Her many interests include an advanced yoga practice, baking, gardening, hiking, biking, playing mahjong and traveling abroad. She recently came back from an exhilarating trip to Borneo and Brunei which included exploring the Mulu Bat Caves (see photo). Best experiences at the MBC — identifying unlabeled specimens and munching on yummy cinnamon toast.

jenessawall

Jenessa Wall — Assistant Collections Manager

University of California, Santa Cruz, CA (B.Sc. 2014)

Location: Marine Biodiversity Center, Ground Floor 1914 Building

2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

2009 – 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Jenessa is studying linguistics and biology. She has had a fascination with science, particularly the biological sciences, from a young age and enjoys examining specimens whenever possible. She hopes to pursue a career doing research as well as working overseas in developing countries.

janettehavens

Janette Havens

University of California, Berkeley

2010: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Janette graduated from Cal with a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies. As an undergraduate she worked at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in the Ornithology and Herpetology Departments. She was also heavily involved in the biodiversity informatics project known as VertNET. She is currently working at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach as an Environmental Science Intern. Janette hopes to learn more about marine organisms while volunteering with the MBC and contribute to the curation of the extensive marine invertebrates collection. Her interests include hiking, horseback riding, bird watching and watching sports. GO BEARS!

allisonchu

Allison Chu

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

2009: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Allison is a junior, double-majoring in piano performance and health promotion disease prevention. She enjoys ice-skating, hiking, and swimming, as well as arts and crafts, concerts and Pixar movies. She's a foodie in many senses, from baking, cooking to eating, and has a mild obsession with the TV series, How I Met Your Mother. Her incentive for volunteering at NHM is mainly due to her biology teacher, Professor Wetzer, whose enthusiasm and passion for her work sparked Allison's interest in the field of marine biology. She's not exactly definite on what her future profession will be, but hopes that it'll be enjoyable and with lots of fun people.

chasefemrite

Chase Femrite

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

2009: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Chase is majoring in Biology and minoring in Physics and Philosophy. His goal is to pursue a career in some aspect of biological research — his interests ranging everywhere from neuroscience to marine organisms. He is excited for the opportunity to further his knowledge and experience in marine biodiversity. In Spring 2010 he is planning on undertaking a research semester at the USC Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island.

nataliebray

Natalie Bray

Lycée Français High School, Los Angeles, California

2008: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Natalie will be a high school senior this Fall. She has worked at the Natural History Museum for the past four summers with the Adventures in Nature Summer Camp and is also volunteering for the MBPC. Natalie hopes to study marine biology in college and to work in museums around the world. She is broadly interested in coral reefs and creatures living in the abyss.

paigejohnson

Paige Johnson

Occidental College, Los Angeles

2007: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Paige is a senior philosophy major, but seeing as philosophers are in low demand, she is interested in pursuing a career in a Natural History Museum. She has broad interests, and enjoys arts and crafts, exploring the outdoors, animals (both alive and preserved in jars), horror films, formal logic and traveling. She also enjoys novels and films that are set in natural history museums and make them seem unrealistically dangerous and exciting. Paige has studied in England and dreams of moving there someday and working at the London Natural History Museum.

michaelpecson

Michael Pecson

California State University, Long Beach, CA

2006 – 2007: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Michael, aka Pecson, is a self-taught biologist. He has logged countless hours watching the Discovery Channel with an emphasis on Animal Planet. As far as he can remember, he has always done well in his science classes and is a self-proclaimed cornucopia of knowledge and obscure facts. Michael hopes to one day become a full-time employee at the NHM.

erinostrander

Erin Ostrander

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

2006: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Erin is a senior in biology who enjoys running, hiking, sailing, and tae kwon do. Erin is interested in marine biology, which is what led her to the Natural History Museum. Erin volunteers for the MBPC to learn more about crustaceans and work on a research project for her marine biology class. She has learned about the organisms from the islands of Palau (Micronesia) through her work on recently collected invertebrates. Erin assists with collection work, associating specimen labels with the organisms, and incorporating them into the research collections.

elisabethwetzer

Elisabeth Wetzer

Bundesrealgymnasium Wien 14, Vienna, Austria

2003 – 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2003 – 2006: NSF Isopods volunteer

Elisabeth has a particularly strong interest in studying the natural sciences. Her interests there have led her to volunteer at the Museum to gain direct experience in science, discovering how biologists work by working with them. While working in the MBPC, Elisabeth has had the chance to learn that doing science, like many other endeavors, is 20% technical and 80% personal; people have far more to do with the working environment than the specifics of the work itself. Besides coffee races and lunches, Elisabeth spent most of her time sorting specimens from the Oregon State University Andrew Carey collection. She hopes to return soon.

chaselafrance

Chase LaFrance

Chadwick School, Palos Verdes, CA

2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Chase is currently classifying and preserving polychaetes. He is interested in computers, chemistry, and genetics. Chase thinks that it is only a matter of time before places like “Jurassic Park” become a reality and extinct creatures’ DNA can be used to bring them back. Chase has no definite ideas what his major will be beyond high school, but it is apparent that it will somehow be science related.

erikaciriana

Erika Ciriano

Manual Arts High School, Los Angeles

2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Erika is a Junior. She started volunteering in the MBPC because she heard it was a great experience, and she needed the service hours for school. It's a great help for science class!

laraleitner

Lara Leitner

Milken Community High School, Los Angeles

2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Lara is a Senior. She enjoys gymnastics and dance and is fascinated by animal behavior. Lara volunteers for the MBPC to get hands on experience with preserved invertebrates. She hopes to become a zoologist in the near future.

paolamorales

Paola Karen Morales

San Francisco Zan Morano, Guatemala City, Guatemala

2004: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Karen is a visiting student from Guatemala. She is spending her winter school break volunteering at the Museum to familiarize herself with the technical aspects of biology and to improve her English language skills. When not assisting with the curation of the Allan Hancock Foundation Sponge Collection, Karen was busy attending English classes. She plans to continue her education in the field of Bio-Medicine.

saramoore

Sara Moore

Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA

2004: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Sara is currently in her third year at Santa Monica College. She is a biology major with a strong interest in ecology and environmental science. She started volunteering in the MBPC because she wanted to experience biology firsthand and familiarize herself with some of the practical aspects of doing biology.

emiyoshimura

Emi Yoshimura

Stanford University, Stanford, California — B.S., M.S. Biology

2003 – 2004: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Emi has been working at the Museum for a little over a year in the Education Department. First she worked as a Gallery Interpreter, and presently her position is Outreach Instructor. In her spare time she volunteers for the MBPC as a way to familiarize herself with the Museum's vast and diverse research collections. Emi is sorting the Great Barrier Reef Expedition 2003 material.

jamesgrama

James Grama

Granada Hills High School, Northridge, California

2002 – 2003: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

James is interested in learning as much about the world as he possibly can. He is expanding his horizon this summer by helping with day to day activities in the Marine Biodiversity Center, while taking this opportunity to explore the backrooms of the museum and learn how the research endeavor is accomplished in the natural sciences and specifically in natural history museums. His goals include becoming a professional in a field related to history or science and to stay a life long learner. He will be a junior this Fall. His enthusiasm is contagious. His energy is boundless.

lindsaykeating

Lindsay Keating

Westridge School for Girls, Pasadena, California

2002: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Lindsay has been visiting the Museum with her father for years. Her strong interests in science and hands-on learning extend well beyond the classroom to our laboratory. She is donating her time and energy to help with a variety of curation tasks — some great fun — others just need doing. She is interested in exploring the many different subdisciplines of science as she begins evaluating possible career choices. As a freshman this Fall, she is looking forward to excelling academically, while preparing to go on to college and graduate school. Lindsay’s thoughtful and reflective nature are a prescription for success whatever her choices.